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by Traci McMillan Beach
on January 02, 2022

Six steps to find an attitude of gratitude

With Thanksgiving and the Holiday season here, organizational leaders are wise to reflect upon the ways employees, customers and key stakeholders have contributed toward a company’s success.
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Giving thanks can go a long way toward making individuals feel seen, valued and appreciated. It boosts morale and spurs productivity. Here are six ways to prepare your sentiments for the coming season of thanks:

1. Make it personal

Take a look at the team, customers and community that comprise and support your business. Identify key contributors and call attention to them. In your messages of thanks, highlight specific achievements, successes and even sacrifices. Tell a story to make it engaging. You can do this on internal platforms, your website, or even LinkedIn profiles. Writing a LinkedIn recommendation for business partners and colleagues, or endorsing skills for high performers, helps go the extra mile in sincerely showing appreciation.

2. Acknowledge contributors at all levels

While personal recognition for star performers is important, it’s equally critical to ensure the rest of your workforce doesn’t feel overlooked. Make sure everyone at your organization feels seen, heard and appreciated for their individual efforts. If you are an executive, ensure you are capturing work from all teams in your message of thanks. 

3. Consider various communication mediums

Email is great and can certainly be effective, but varying your approach to communication can take engagement further. One way we love to mix it up is with a heartfelt video message. It doesn’t need to be fancy — the key is to make it genuine. A video can be filmed with your laptop or smartphone, and should show a leader speaking directly and naturally to the audience. The tone and facial expressions that are lost in an email will come across in the video, helping your message to better resonate with viewers. 

4. Send a handwritten note and thoughtful gift

Taking the time to physically write a note connotes to a recipient you care — you took the time to put pen to paper for the sole purpose of recognizing them. To accompany your message, think about what you know about the recipient. Do they enjoy coffee? Perhaps gift them a personalized tumbler. Are they a sports enthusiast? Consider a piece of memorabilia. If they’re a big traveler, maybe a mobile device charger would be appropriate. Showing you took the time to consider someone’s unique likes proves you appreciate them enough to consider a unique gift. 

5. Give them some visibility

With their permission, spotlighting an employee, customer or stakeholder on your website can be a great way to show your thanks. Include a small feature about what makes the individual special, or what they did that was above and beyond. For customers, give them a little publicity — call out their product and what makes them special and a good partner, and be sure to include backlinks to help with SEO. 

Key contributors can also be recognized by a special thanks from the executive team. Having an up-line leader jump on a one-on-one call with the employee, to specifically call out positive contributions, can go a long way toward making individuals feel recognized and appreciated.

6. Surprise and delight

Make their morning by presenting internal teams with treats or breakfast to accompany their coffee. Include signage that explains it’s a small token of appreciation for the team’s hard work. For virtual teams, customers and external stakeholders, send them cookies. It’s easy, always appreciated and a great way to show you care. 

Also consider desk drops with treats, gift cards, thank you notes, etc. It’s a great way to generate enthusiasm, boost morale and spur engagement. 

Another way to acknowledge all contributors is to dedicate an annual allotment for days or dollars to go toward training, growth and development. Thank individuals and teams for their contributions, and let them know this is your way of reinvesting in them and showing your appreciation. 

Meaningfully expressing your gratitude requires an awareness of your key contributors — an acknowledgement that without your internal and external stakeholders, your business would not be what it is. Enable positive momentum by recognizing the importance of the individuals who collectively enable your company’s success.